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Derek Shelton Emotional Over Getting Chance to Coach With Mentor



Pittsburgh Pirates, Derek Shelton

PITTSBURGH — If Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton had any plans for the All-Star weekend, he will gladly cancel them.

Shelton was announced as a coach on Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thompson’s staff for the National League All-Star team in Seattle.

“You guys have seen me get emotional a couple of times. This one. It is special to be recognized — to be able to sit in a room with the best players in the National League,” Shelton said.

To be able to coach the best of the best is an honor in itself, but it’s even extra special for the 52-year-old Shelton.

Since the Phillies represented the National League in last year’s World Series, not only is Thompson managing the All-Star team, but he also gets to select his staff.

It’s no coincidence that Thompson elected to choose Shelton to join him as the two had coached together in the New York Yankees’ minor league system.

“The fact that I was chosen and the history I have with Thomps — I think I expressed it last year when Thomps took over in Philly,” said Shelton. “He was a mentor of mine. He’s someone that played a large part in my career as I was a player on a team that he coached on. Then he was the field coordinator and farm director when I first started coaching. I learned a lot of what I know about coaching from Rob Thomson.”

The duo will be reunited on the same coaching staff and will get to share a big league bench as major league coaches for the first time as they get to coach the game’s very best.

The moment for Shelton was even sweeter when Andrew McCutchen led a team-wide meeting to congratulate his manager on the announcement prior to Thursday’s win over the San Diego Padres.

“I was unaware. I’m the one that usually calls meetings and then I walked into a room and everyone was in there. Actually my dad, my cousin’s husband and their kids were in there because they were here earlier to shag. It was really special,” Shelton said.

“To hear the things that Cutch said means a lot. This is a guy that’s been to All-Star Games, not an All-Star Game, which he made me aware of. The fact that the reception from the team, for them to get together and do those things makes me feel good about what we are building here and the group of guys in that room.”

As for which Pirate, or Pirates may join Shelton in representing the organization at the Midsummer Classic remains to be seen. No Pirates’ player was among the position player starters announced on Thursday.

Even so, Shelton believes there are at least two of his guys worthy of heading to Seattle with him.

“I definitely think we have some guys that are deserving. The guy that finished the game today (David Bednar) and the guy that started the game yesterday (Mitch Keller) definitely deserve to go. From there we will definitely see, I think those two guys for sure deserve to go.”

For Keller, it would represent his first ever selection to the All-Star Game. For Bednar, it would be his second in as many years.

The Pirates’ closer likes the idea of joining his manager at T-Mobile Park when the All-Star Game commences on July 11.

“That’d be cool. For sure, without a doubt,” he said.

No matter who joins Shelton from the Pirates, the moment will be a special one for Shelton. It’s something he and his family will get to enjoy together.

“I’m so excited for my family. From talking to the other people that have done it, they say it’s one of the greatest experiences of their life. To be able to be on the field in Seattle is really going to be cool. I’m sure I will be emotional during those days.”

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